Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, Dec 10: On the second day of the winter session of Karnataka Assembly in Belagavi, Prabhu Chavan, a BJP MLA from Aurad constituency in Bidar has found himself in the middle of a controversy.
While the session was going on, Chavan was caught on camera using his mobile phone. The TV channel cameras caught Chavan flipping through pictures of Priyanka Gandhi on his smart phone. This happened while HD Kumaraswamy was speaking in the House.
Another BJP MLA from Hirekerur constituency was found playing Candy Crush game while the session was going on.
Later in the evening, the issue was discussed in BJP Parliamentary Party Meeting.
"The MLA Prabhu Chavan was not watching any thing obscene on the smart phone, he was only looking at his family photos. The question of taking action against him doesn't arise" said Jagadish Shettar, leader of opposition in Karnataka Assembly.
The controversial MLA of the day, Prabhu Chavan clarified, " Yes, I accept my mistake and apologize of using phone while the session was in progress but, there is nothing objectionable in it, I was looking at photos of my daughter`s wedding and as I was scrolling, landed on other photos in the album of Narendra Modi, Priyanka Gandhi etc".
However, the incident came as a rude shock to BJP which was sharpening knives to fight against ruling Party, on the floor of the house.
Commenting on the episode, Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa told Oneindia, "MLAs using phones in the assembly demands serious review, a blanket ban on phones appears a necessity".
Reacting to the incident, Prahlad Joshi Member of Parliament and President of Karnataka BJP said, "All the legislators ( 224) should exercise self restraint and avoid using phones, which is a detraction".
Joshi also defended party legislator,"He is Innocent and have not any thing blunder which tarnishes the dignity of the house".
However , the party has sent out a warning to the MLA in particular and to all it`s MLAs ( 40) in general to refrain themselves from such activities.
Belagavi winter session of the Assembly began on December 9, Tuesday, and will go on till Dec 20.
Not the first time
This is not the first time legislators from Karnataka were caught using mobile phones during session.In 2012, 2 BJP ministers, CC Patil and Lakshman Savadi, were caught watching an obscene video on their mobile phones while the Assembly was in session.
A regional TV channel aired the footage of the duo watching the clippings when the Assembly was debating the issue of hoisting of Pakistan national flag in a town in Bijapur district on the New Year's day.
The ministers later submitted their resignation.